SOUTH HILL, Va. (WRIC) — 20 hours after a man died following an exchange of gunfire with police in a Walmart parking lot Thursday, Virginia State Police identified the deceased: 44-year-old Steven B. Matze of Saxe, Va.
Authorities say Matze’s remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond to be examined for an autopsy.
A spokesperson for VSP said the incident occurred at about 6:50 p.m. on Dec. 23, at the Walmart in the 300 block of Furr Street in the town limits.
VSP said the officer located the man in the drivers seat of a Ford F-150 pickup truck in the parking lot of the store. The truck was parked on the side of the parking lot.
An updated press release from police Friday afternoon added that the officer approached the driver’s side, and a shot rang out from inside the pickup. The officer returned fire and a handgun was recovered from inside the truck.
The man died at the scene, but the officer was not injured.
Police could not confirm the circumstances of the man’s death when pressed by 8News, only adding that they await preliminary findings from the medical examiner.
Charlotte County authorities were searching for Matze earlier this week, saying at the time he may be armed and dangerous.
Matze’s identity also matches a man registered on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry; sentenced in 2011 in Bedford Circuit Court for “use of communications system to contact a minor.”
8News Reporter Olivia Jaquith attempted to reach the South Hill Police Department and Mecklenburg County Emergency Communications Department for comment, but both referred 8News to Virginia State Police.
When 8News arrived on the scene Friday morning, there was no sign of the shooting scene remaining. The Walmart parking lot was filled with Christmas Eve shoppers, the lot having apparently been cleared since the incident occurred.
This is a developing story, stay with 8News for updates.